Sideshow Don continues on Twitter, Burr explains Senate investigations

Donald Trump’s obsession with investigations into collusion and his obsession with being seen as great continue on Twitter:

Highly respected Senator Richard Burr, Chairman of Senate Intelligence, said today that, after an almost two year investigation, he saw no evidence of Russia collusion. “We don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia.” Thank you!

Not only did Senator Burr’s Committee find No Collusion by the Trump Campaign and Russia, it’s important because they interviewed 200 witnesses and 300,000 pages of documents, & the Committee has direct access to intelligence information that’s Classified.

Now we find out that Adam Schiff was spending time together in Aspen with Glenn Simpson of GPS Fusion, who wrote the fake and discredited Dossier, even though Simpson was testifying before Schiff. John Solomon of

The mainstream media has refused to cover the fact that the head of the VERY important Senate Intelligence Committee, after two years of intensive study and access to Intelligence that only they could get, just stated that they have found NO COLLUSION between “Trump” & Russia….

Actually no, only one member of the Senate Intelligence Committee said “we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia” before a draft of their final report has been started, and before the Mueller investigation has concluded.

Burr: “”What I’m telling you is that I’m going to present, as best we can, the facts to you and to the American people. And you’ll have to draw your own conclusion as to whether you think that, by whatever definition, that’s collusion.”

I presume no facts have been presented to Trump yet, but he has been asserting ‘NO COLLUSION’ since the allegations and investigations began.

..It is all a GIANT AND ILLEGAL HOAX, developed long before the election itself, but used as an excuse by the Democrats as to why Crooked Hillary Clinton lost the Election! Someday the Fake News Media will turn honest & report that Donald J. Trump was actually a GREAT Candidate!

This relates to this from CBS News:  Richard Burr on the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation, 2 years on

The investigation into Russian intelligence activities by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence turned two years old, without fanfare, last month.

For almost as long, the inquiry, led by Republican Chairman Richard Burr of North Carolina and Vice Chairman Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat, has been held up as the last bastion of bipartisanship in Washington.

After a parallel investigation divided the House Intelligence Committee last year, the Senate’s probe has been under intense pressure to offer a single set of findings.

Burr has spoken little about the probe he leads. But he thinks deeply about how its conclusions should be presented. And he acknowledges now that the investigation is broader, and perhaps more consequential, than it has long been thought to be.

For more than an hour, Burr detailed the committee’s work and findings to date, explained why its investigation will stretch beyond its second year, and addressed the potential of a partisan breakdown at its conclusion. He described the committee’s coordination with the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, its plans for delivering a final report, and hinted at what kinds of questions it may, at least for now, have to leave unanswered.

He made clear that the investigation is not compiling the story of one pivotal election, but of something larger, more complicated and, from a counterintelligence perspective, more nefarious. The final report may be so highly classified, he said, that a meaningful portion may not be made public at all.

Burr said he felt vindicated by his decision to empower the committee’s staff to run the investigation. He said their access to highly classified intelligence from the agencies the committee is equipped to oversee often allowed them to know in advance what they needed to elicit from a witness.

“It also gave us tremendous insight to know when somebody was lying to us,” he said, adding that the committee had “not been shy” in referring individuals for criminal prosecution.

To date, the committee has interviewed more than 200 witnesses and reviewed more than 300,000 pages of documents; it has held more than a dozen public hearings and released two interim reports.

The first, on election security, was issued last March and found that the Department of Homeland Security’s response to Russia’s incursions was “inadequate.”

The second, released in May, included the initial findings of a review of the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) on Russia’s active measures — an unclassified version of a more comprehensive report is still forthcoming.

“We see no reason to dispute the conclusions,” of the ICA, Burr said at the time, in a simple assertion that nevertheless generated headlines for its contrast with a finding by the House Intelligence Committee’s Republican majority.

Their final report cited “significant intelligence tradecraft failings” in the assessment made of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s intentions. On a bipartisan basis, the Senate committee substantiated the finding that Putin had developed a “clear preference” for Donald Trump.

Burr would only say that Steele remained of interest, but out of reach.

Burr has previously said it would be impossible to assess the credibility of the dossier without understanding who Steele’s sources and sub-sources were; failing to speak directly with Steele suggests that the committee has not, itself, come to a determination of the dossier’s reliability.

Was there collusion?

For now, Burr appears to have arrived at his answer. “If we write a report based upon the facts that we have, then we don’t have anything that would suggest there was collusion by the Trump campaign and Russia,” he said.

He told Fox News in September that the committee had found no “hard evidence” of collusion, though new information could still come to light.

He now doubled down, adding it was “accurate with everything we’ve accumulated since then.”

It was the first time the chairman sounded like he was not speaking for the entirety of his committee, given the disconnect between his view of a set of facts and that of the vice chairman. (Warner declined to be interviewed for this article.)

In January, Warner said the revelation that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort shared polling data with Konstantin Kilimnik, a business associate of Manafort’s known to have ties to Russian intelligence, was the “closest we’ve seen” to collusion.

Burr did not use the word then and would not now. Manafort, he said, “shared polling data with a former partner of an effort to do campaign services in the Ukraine.” It was a “stretch,” Burr said, to call that collusion.

He argued that the underlying motivations behind some interactions were often hard, and sometimes impossible, to determine, and that what might look like collusion could have an alternative rationale.

“There’s an awful lot of connections of all these people,” he said. “They may not be connections that are tied to 2016 elections in the United States, but just the sheer fact that they have a relationship — it may be business. It may be Russian intelligence. It may be they’re all on the payroll of Oleg Deripaska,” he said.

“I have no belief that at the end of our process, people that love Donald Trump are going to applaud what we do. And I have no belief that people that hate Donald Trump are going to reverse and say, ‘Well, you know, this clears him.’ They are solidly in one camp or the other,” he said.

“I’m speaking to what I hope is the 60 percent in the middle that are saying, ‘Give me the facts that I need to make a determination in this one particular instance — what happened.’ And that’s what our focus is,” he said.

There is also the Mueller investigation.

Burr has often voiced his awareness that his committee’s report will be tested by the special counsel’s findings. He has said he’s comforted by it, in part because Mueller, by virtue of having more and better investigative tools, may provide answers that proved elusive to his team.

But he remained evasive as to whether Mueller’s final report should itself be made public — even if it could conceivably fill in some gaps within his own probe. “I’m going to leave that up to whoever the A.G. is at the time,” he said.

No overall findings yet.

How the committee will issue its overall findings, once it arrives at them, also appears to be an open question. Burr said a formal draft had not yet been started, and he could not make a prediction about how much of it, ultimately, would be declassified.

“What I’m telling you is that I’m going to present, as best we can, the facts to you and to the American people. And you’ll have to draw your own conclusion as to whether you think that, by whatever definition, that’s collusion,” he said.

“My only advice to you is, be careful. There are a lot of false narratives out there,” he said.

It is a highly complex issue, being investigated by the Senate, by Congress, and by Mueller.  None of them have come to final conclusions, and if they do they could remain classified.

Trump, the media and any of us don’t know anywhere near the full story – and we may never know it.

Will the investigations end up doing any good? Who knows?

Was Trump a great, or as he puts it, a GREAT Candidate? Many thought he was. Many thought he was terrible. He ended up getting fewer popular votes overall than another flawed candidate, Hillary Clinton, but his campaign was good enough to win the presidency under the electoral college system. Some voters would have thought neither candidate was great and voted for the least worst.

Will Trump end up being seen as a great president? It’s far too soon to judge that. There are and will be positives and negatives, it depends on how they all add up.

Was their collusion. That is up to both evidence and interpretation. But we shouldn’t be fixated on ‘collusion’, there are other bad practices, even illegal practices, that could be proven, or disproven, or neither.

45 Comments

  1. Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker is testifying in Congress. One exchange:

    Cohen: “Would you say the special counsel’s investigation is a witch hunt? Are you overseeing a witch hunt?”

    Whitaker: “Congressman, as I’ve mentioned previously, the special counsel’s investigation is an ongoing investigation, and so I think it would be inappropriate for me to…”

    Cohen: “But you wouldn’t oversee a witch hunt, would you? You’d stop a witch hunt, wouldn’t you?”

    Whitaker: “Congressman, it would be inappropriate for me to talk about an ongoing investigation.”

    Cohen: “You said you were not interfering with the special counsel’s investigation. Have you denied him any funds he’s requested at all?

    Whitaker: “Congressman, I can tell this is an important issue for you…”

    Cohen: “It’s an important issue for the American public and for the whole world.

    Whitaker: “Congressman, to answer your question directly, I have not denied any funds to the special counsel’s investigation.”

    https://edition.cnn.com/politics/live-news/whitaker-house-judiciary-testimony/index.html

    It would have been highly controversial if an acting Attorney General, appointed by trump, stopped an investigation into Trump and his campaign. But it hasn’t been stopped or limited by denying funds.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  February 9, 2019

    It should be limited by denying funds if it runs forever without producing anything relevant to its mission.

    • Gezza

       /  February 9, 2019

      I think they should probably pack it in if they can’t find anything to pin on him by the 2020 election but that they should carry on right up until then, after which yanks will just have to accept that they elected a con man to be their president but that that’s what their society has taken several decades to sink to. And start to address what that means.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  February 9, 2019

      The time for trump’s administration to continue avoiding accountability is over.

      Suck it up, Alan, otherwise you’ll break that string of fake pearls you’re clutching.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 9, 2019

        Drivelling idiocy as usual from you, Joe. Mueller has been running/walking/standing still for two years. How on earth is that avoiding accountability???

        • Gezza

           /  February 9, 2019

          But we haven’t seen Mueller’s final report yet Alan so we don’t actually know whether he’s got nothing.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  February 9, 2019

            Well, exactly. So how long do you put up with that nonsense for?

            • Gezza

               /  February 9, 2019

              Well I reckon until the 2020 election would be about right. And in the unlikely event he wins, it might be necessary to start another one, because really, he shouldn’t. They should probably investigate some of the Republican senators at that point too.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 9, 2019

              Four years with nothing to show for it is ridiculous. However, you are right – it could help the Dems lose the election.

            • Gezza

               /  February 9, 2019

              Somebody’s downticking me and upticking you so I’ve had to downtick you to keep some sort of balance going here.

              I don’t think the Mueller investigation is really associated with the Democrats in most voters’ minds over there although I’m sure the Republicans are convinced it will be. But we’ll see.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 9, 2019

              Be interesting to see how the Mueller-Whitaker relationship pans out. Seems like Mueller leaked to set up the Stone arrest circus for CNN. That sort of thing is likely to convince independent voters the Mueller gang is a Democrat hit squad.

            • Gezza

               /  February 9, 2019

              Well, I wouldn’t know. I don’t keep track of all this stuff because I’m only interested when they find some other associate of Trump’s has been up to no good or lied to the investigation & is now hinting they’ll come clean about some of the dodgy goings on that they’ve done at Trump’s behest or with his knowledge in pursuance of the objective of helping low-morals Americans like NRA members & weirdo Christian fundamentalists elect a con man to be their president.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  February 9, 2019
            • Gezza

               /  February 9, 2019

              As long as whatever is happening continues to drive Trump nuts and add to his endless ranting on Twitter, which drives home to sensible people what a twat he is, I’m not interested enuf to open and read that. Is there a video?

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  February 9, 2019

          Shhhhhh, the sound of me not giving a fuck about what Cult-45er Alan has to say.

          • Gezza

             /  February 9, 2019

            It’s not Alan’s fault. He’s addicted to Trump.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  February 9, 2019

            That’s how you got to produce so much drivelling idiocy, Joe. Which will doubtless continue to flow.

            • Blazer

               /  February 9, 2019

              don’t know what you smoke ..Al..but it does affect you.

          • Pink David

             /  February 9, 2019

            Your posting tells us you care deeply. Or, perhaps that you have nothing better to do.

        • Duker

           /  February 9, 2019

          Stone thing could have been leaked by DHS agents, who were there in photos of Stones arrest by the FBI …gee another agency who leaks.

          This was Muellers indictment of Stone
          ‘The indictment says Stone served as a link between the Trump campaign and the release of Democratic National Committee emails stolen by state-sponsored Russian hackers to embarrass Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton.”

          Collusion smoking Gun…just have to work out who was holding the gun ..or paid for it

  3. Patzcuaro

     /  February 9, 2019

    Normal transmission resumes after an ad break.

  4. David

     /  February 9, 2019

    It looks like the Democrats have come to the conclusion Meuller wont find any collusion so they are into getting tax returns from a decade ago and other investigations being launched.

    Its absurd to think the US election was won at the behest of Putin, if that was the case how come Trump has put swingeing sanctions against Russia and Putins close friends, Trump,s pressure could well put the kybosh on Nordstream2, Trump has just pulled out of the missile treaty..odd behaviour for Putin slotting him into the top job.

    • Gezza

       /  February 9, 2019

      I don’t think this really matters all that much tbh. The main thing is to get rid of Trump at the next election because he’s such a bare-faced liar, con-man and chaotic arsehole. They’ve had time to discover what a nepotist, liar, nutter & swamp filler he is & it’d be a disaster if this plonker stays at the helm for another four years. If the Republicans can’t find a decent replacement and give him the elbow by then (which they probably can’t, looking at who stood against him last time) then the best thing for the Americans will be to replace him with a Democrat until the GOP can find someone who isn’t such a blatant liar and con man for the following election.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  February 9, 2019

        TDS rating at fever levels, Sir Gerald. Advise lie down, wet cloth on forehead and lots of water.

        • Gezza

           /  February 9, 2019

          Well, no, I don’t think so. I know you like to make endless excuses for him but my description of him is quite accurate I believe. I think it would be a good idea to dump him at the next election. I just think he’s a terrible person and someone Americans should be raising their children NOT to be like.

          • Pink David

             /  February 9, 2019

            “I just think he’s a terrible person and someone Americans should be raising their children NOT to be like.”

            That is not a criteria for US President. Bill Clinton and JFK were/are both terrible people. Hillary Clinton is a terrible person. Kamala Harris is a terrible person, yet will be the Democrat pick for 2020.

      • Pink David

         /  February 9, 2019

        He’s going to be running against Kamala ‘Blowjob’ Harris. I’ve already placed my bet on the outcome of 2020.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 9, 2019

      Congress is impotent so long as the Republicans hold the Senate. All they can do is make media noise and as much interference as possible in the Trump administration. All Trump can do is run the administration and appoint judges. No-one can make or change law. That’s what the Constitution has created.

    • Duker

       /  February 9, 2019

      Different enquiry. leaks we have heard about say Trump has made questionable tax deductions, claiming low when he sells to avoid CGT and claiming high when he wants to jack up rents.

  5. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 9, 2019

    trump at Thursday’s National Prayer Breakfast:

    “many of our greatest strides, from gaining our independence to abolition of civil rights […] have been led by people of faith”

    America’s greatest accomplishments include the “abolition of civil rights” – words fail me.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  February 9, 2019

      Guess that makes two of you.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  February 9, 2019

        Get back to me when you want to talk sense.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  February 9, 2019

          I could translate for you but I won’t bother.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  February 9, 2019

            Joe…he didn’t really say that, did he ? 😀 😀 😀

    • Duker

       /  February 9, 2019

      “RICO is a statute that was passed in 1970 to prosecute organized crime. Until then, mob bosses would often insulate themselves from criminal exposure by directing underlings to commit crimes. In response, Congress enacted RICO, which, among other things, makes it a crime for any person associated with an enterprise to participate, directly or indirectly, in the conduct of the enterprise’s affairs through a pattern of racketeering activity.”

      This way Trump can no longer say – barely knew him/ was only working for me for a very short time/ hes a rat and get away with blaming his underlings…ALL THE TIME

  6. Joe Bloggs

     /  February 9, 2019

    From Buzzfeed (via Natasha Bertrand):

    JUST IN: Maria Butina and government prosecutors agree that Butina is not yet ready for sentencing because “[t]he defendant’s cooperation is not yet complete.” Continuance until Feb. 26 requested.

  7. David

     /  February 9, 2019

    50% approval ratings for the Donald..Rasmussen poll.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  February 9, 2019

      that’s a dead-cat bounce after all his gaslighting via the SOTU

      Give it a week or two

    • Gezza

       /  February 9, 2019

      This is after a ra-ra SOTU carefully crafted by other people who know the right things to have Trump say to a perenially jingoistic American congresspeople and nation though. So it’s an unusual event where Trump was putting on a scripted performance and was on his best behaviour for a change, which is something he can’t keep up, so this one is probably an outlier if it’s even an accurate picutre at all. You might be getting over-excited about a temporary phenomenon?

    • Duker

       /  February 9, 2019

      Rasmussen …that explains it
      https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/405965-pollster-rasmussen-research-has-a-pro-gop-bias

      …referring to Rasmussen’s long-standing practice of adjusting its results by party identification.

  1. Sideshow Don continues on Twitter, Burr explains Senate investigations — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition